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Keywords:local projections OR Local projections 

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Zombies at Large? Corporate Debt Overhang and the Macroeconomy

With business leverage at record levels, the effects of corporate debt overhang on growth and investment have become a prominent concern. In this paper, we study the effects of corporate debt overhang based on long-run cross-country data covering the near-universe of modern business cycles. We show that business credit booms typically do not leave a lasting imprint on the macroeconomy. Quantile local projections indicate that business credit booms do not affect the economy’s tail risks either. Yet in line with theory, we find that the economic costs of corporate debt booms rise when ...
Staff Reports , Paper 951

Working Paper
Assessing Macroeconomic Tail Risk

What drives macroeconomic tail risk? To answer this question, we borrow a definition of macroeconomic risk from Adrian et al. (2019) by studying (left-tail) percentiles of the forecast distribution of GDP growth. We use local projections (Jord, 2005) to assess how this measure of risk moves in response to economic shocks to the level of technology, monetary policy, and financial conditions. Furthermore, by studying various percentiles jointly, we study how the overall economic outlook?as characterized by the entire forecast distribution of GDP growth?shifts in response to shocks. We find that ...
Working Paper , Paper 19-10

Working Paper
Zombies at Large? Corporate Debt Overhang and the Macroeconomy

With business leverage at record levels, the effects of corporate debt overhang on growth and investment have become a prominent concern. In this paper, we study the effects of corporate debt overhang based on long-run cross-country data covering the near universe modern business cycles. We show that business credit booms typically do not leave a lasting imprint on the macroeconomy. Quantile local projections indicate that business credit booms do not affect the economy’s tail risks either. Yet in line with theory, we find that the economic costs of corporate debt booms rise when ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-36

Working Paper
When is the Fiscal Multiplier High? A Comparison of Four Business Cycle Phases

We synthesize the recent, at times conflicting, empirical literature regarding whether fiscal policy is more effective during certain points in the business cycle. Evidence of state dependence in the multiplier depends critically on how the business cycle is defined. Estimates of the fiscal multiplier do not change when the unemployment rate is above or below its trend. However, we find that the multiplier is higher when the unemployment rate is increasing relative to when it is decreasing. This result holds using both a long time-series at the U.S. national level and for a panel of U.S. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-026

Working Paper
Assessing Macroeconomic Tail Risk

What drives macroeconomic tail risk? To answer this question, we borrow a definition of macroeconomic risk from Adrian et al. (2019) by studying (left-tail) percentiles of the forecast distribution of GDP growth. We use local projections (Jord, 2005) to assess how this measure of risk moves in response to economic shocks to the level of technology, monetary policy, and financial conditions. Furthermore, by studying various percentiles jointly, we study how the overall economic outlook-as characterized by the entire forecast distribution of GDP growth-shifts in response to shocks. We find that ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-026

Working Paper
The Long-Run Effects of Monetary Policy

Is the effect of monetary policy on the productive capacity of the economy long lived? Yes, in fact we find such impacts are significant and last for over a decade based on: (1) merged data from two new international historical databases; (2) identification of exogenous monetary policy using the macroeconomic trilemma; and (3) improved econometric methods. Notably, the capital stock and total factor productivity (TFP) exhibit hysteresis, but labor does not. Money is non-neutral for a much longer period of time than is customarily assumed. A New Keynesian model with endogenous TFP growth can ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-01

Working Paper
Decomposing the Fiscal Multiplier

Unusual circumstances often coincide with unusual fiscal policy actions. Much attention has been paid to estimates of how fiscal policy affects the macroeconomy, but these are typically average treatment effects. In practice, the fiscal “multiplier” at any point in time depends on the monetary policy response. Using the IMF fiscal consolidations dataset for identification and a new decomposition-based approach, we show how to evaluate these monetary-fiscal effects. In the data, the fiscal multiplier varies considerably with monetary policy: it can be zero, or as large as 2 depending on ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-12

Working Paper
Disasters Everywhere: The Costs of Business Cycles Reconsidered

Business cycles are costlier and stabilization policies more beneficial than widely thought. This paper shows that all business cycles are asymmetric and resemble mini “disasters”. By this we mean that growth is pervasively fat-tailed and non-Gaussian. Using long-run historical data, we show empirically that this is true for all advanced economies since 1870. Focusing on the peacetime sample, we develop a tractable local projection framework to estimate consumption growth paths for normal and financial-crisis recessions. Using random coefficient local projections we get an easy and ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-11

Report
Disasters Everywhere: The Costs of Business Cycles Reconsidered

Business cycles are costlier and stabilization policies more beneficial than widely thought. This paper shows that all business cycles are asymmetric and resemble mini “disasters.” By this we mean that growth is pervasively fat-tailed and non-Gaussian. Using long-run historical data, we show empirically that this is true for all advanced economies since 1870. Focusing on the peacetime sample, we develop a tractable local projection framework to estimate consumption growth paths for normal and financial-crisis recessions. Using random coefficient local projections we get an easy and ...
Staff Reports , Paper 925

Working Paper
Longer-Run Economic Consequences of Pandemics

How do major pandemics affect economic activity in the medium to longer term? Is it consistent with what economic theory prescribes? Since these are rare events, historical evidence over many centuries is required. We study rates of return on assets using a dataset stretching back to the 14th century, focusing on 12 major pandemics where more than 100,000 people died. In addition, we include major armed conflicts resulting in a similarly large death toll. Significant macroeconomic after-effects of the pandemics persist for about 40 years, with real rates of return substantially depressed. In ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-09

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